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Borderland Festival II: National Music Acts, Local Flavor Let WNY Rise and Shine

Author: Rick Ohler

It didn’t take long for the Borderland Music + Art Festival to vault to the top of annual music events in the Buffalo and Western New York region. Last year’s inaugural, two-day festival at East Aurora’s Knox Farm, easily the most pastoral and bucolic of the local parks, hit a home run in every facet: lineup of music, arts and crafts, family-friendly activities, local microbrewers and distillers, farm to table food, attention to sustainability and environmental practices.

Borderland II is back bigger and better with more ways to showcase everything that makes Western New York special, and once again, the weather will shine—mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80s are forecast.

Both days are bursting with must-hear bands that look to draw a music-saavy crowd to the former working farm from all over the East and Midwest. On Saturday, the Wood Brothers, the Infamous Stringdusters and the Warren Haynes-led Govt. Mule finish off a day that includes Miller and Other Sinners, Floodwood, and local acts Dead Alliance Buffalo, Leroy Townes and Folkfaces, as well as seven other acts on three stages.

On Sunday, the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mavis Staples takes the stage at 4:30, followed by an unbelievable ensemble: Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass featuring Oteil Burbridge and the Infamous Stringdusters. Burbridge, of Dead & Co. and Allman Brothers fame, closed Borderland I with a memorable set. Greensky Bluegrass, Shakey Graves and local blues guitar wunderkind Hayden Fogle bring Borderland to a conclusion.

Twenty-seven acts in all—Americana, bluegrass, blues, rock and roll, country and jam band artists—will perform 11:00 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. both days on the Grasslands and Split Rail main stages behind the Knox Farm stables and the Homespun stage in front of the stables.

The vibe is totally local from the craft beer, cider and wines—and this year, spirits—to the locally sourced “good grub and culinary creations.” Eight master artisans will demonstrate their crafts, and there is plenty to do for the whole family thanks to the Fisher-Price Playland. Borderland continues its pioneering role as a low-impact festival; no single use food and drink containers will be used, with free water bottle stations throughout the venue. Waste Free Earth returns to make sure waste goes to compost and recycling sites rather than landfills.

Ticket options and further information for two-day and single-day passes are available at

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